Population Genetics of Tsetse Flies and its Relevance to Trypanosomiasis Research

  • I. Maudlin


Studies of some vector-borne diseases have shown genetic factors to be involved in the vector-parasite relationships and these results have often influenced measures taken to control such diseases. Novel methods of vector control have emerged from genetical studies, such methods having the dual advantages of being species specific and of causing little environmental damage. However, genetics has made little impact on trypanosomiasis research or control when compared with other vector-borne diseases, for reasons which are related to the biology of the tsetse fly and the trypanosome. Despite these natural limitations, genetical studies may yet provide useful information for those engaged in trypanosomiasis research. For example, chromosome and isozyme studies have shown that there is a large amount of genetic variation within tsetse populations, but it is not known whether such variation is related to the distribution of the disease. The infection rates of flies are known to vary between species and are dependent on fly-trypanosome interactions but it is not known whether these interactions have a genetic component. It is suggested that studies of the genetics of natural populations of tsetse, combined with selection experiments in the laboratory, could provide answers to these questions which might be of importance to control programmes and to studies of the epidemiology of trypanosomiasis.

Key Words

Genetics population tsetse fly trypanosomiasis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrewartha H. G. and Birch L. C. (1974) The Distribution and Abundance of Animals. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  2. Bolland H. R. van Buren A., van der Geest L. P. S. and Helle W. (1974) Marker mutation in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans. Ent. exp. appi. 17. 522–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burnett G. F. (1970) In The African Tryanosomiases (Ed. by Mulligan H. W.), pp. 464–489. George Allen & Unwin, London.Google Scholar
  4. Bursell E. (1966) The nutritional state of tsetse flies from different vegetation types in Rhodesia. Bull. ent. Res. 57, 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buxton P. A. (1955) The Natural History of Tsetse Flies. H. K. Lewis, London.Google Scholar
  6. Clarke J. E. (1969) Trypanosome infection rates in the mouthparts of Zambian tsetse flies. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 63, 15–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clarkson M. J. and McCabe W. (1970) Trypanosoma vivax in ruminants. Trans. R. Sec. Trop. Med. Hyg. 64, 164–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. CoLuzzi M. and Bullini L. (1971) Enzyme variants as markers in the study of precopulatory isolating mechanisms. Nature 231, 455–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Corson J. F. (1932) A note on tsetse flies. J. trop. Med. (Hyg.) 35, 97–98.Google Scholar
  10. Curtis C. F. (1971) Experiments on breeding translocation homozygotes in tsetse flies. L.A.E.A. STI/PUB/265 Vienna pp. 425–433.Google Scholar
  11. Curtis C. F. (1972) Sterility from crosses between sub-species of the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans. Acta Tropica 29, 250–268.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Curtis C. F., Southern D. I., Pell P. E. and Craig-Cameron T. A. (1972) Chromosome translocations in Glossina austeni. Genet. Res. Cainh. 20, 101–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davies H. J. (1971) Further eradication of tsetse in the Chad and Gongola river systems in North-Eastern Nigeria. J. appi. Ecol. 8, 563–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davies J. B. (1960) Dieldrin in the control of Glossina palpalis (R.-D.) in the Southern Guinea Savannah of Northern Nigeria. I.S.C.T.R., 8th Meeting, Jos, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  15. Geest L. P. S. van der and Kawooya J. (1975) Genetic variation in some enzyme systems in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans. Ent. exp. appl. 18, 508–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Godfrey D. G. (1966) Diagnosis of Trypanosome Infections in Tsetse Flies. In Proc. 1st Int. Cony. Parasit. Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  17. Gooding R. H. and Rolseth B. H. (1978) Genetics and mating behaviour of Glossina morsitans morsitans Westwood. FAO/IAEA Research Co-ordination Meeting, Antwerp.Google Scholar
  18. Gray A. R. and Roberts C. J. (1971) The stability of resistance to diminazine aceturate and quinapyramine sulphate in a strain of Trypanosoma vivax during cyclical transmission through antelope. Parasitology 63, 163–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gubler D. J. and Robsen L. (1976) Variation among geographic strains of Aedes alhopictus in susceptibility to infection with dengue viruses. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 25, 318–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harley J. M. B. (1971) Comparison of the susceptibility to infection with Trypanosoma rhodesiense of Glossina pallidipes. G. morsitans, G.fuscipes and G. hrevipalpis. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 65. 185–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harley J. M. B. and Wilson A. J. (1968) Comparison between Glossina morsitans, G. pallidipes and G.fuscipes as vectors of trypanosomes of the Trypanosoma congolaise group: The proportions infected experimentally and the number of infective organisms extruded during feeding. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 62, 178–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoare C. A. (1972) The Trypanosomes of Mammals. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London.Google Scholar
  23. Hoof I. M. J. J. van (1947) Observations on trypanosomiasis in the Belgian Congo. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 40, 728–761.Google Scholar
  24. Jackson C. H. N. (1945) Pairing of Glossina morsitans Westwood with G. swynnertoni Austen (piptera). Proc. R. em. Soc. Lond. (A) 20, 106.Google Scholar
  25. Jaenson T. G. T. (1978) Mating behaviour of Glossina pallidipes Austen (Diptera, Glossinidae): Genetic differences in copulation time between allopatric populations. Ent. Exp. appi 24, 100–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jordan A. M. (1976) Tsetse flies as vectors of trypanosomiasis. Veterinary Parasitology 2, 143–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jordan A. M., Trewern M. A., Southern D. I., Pell P. E. and Davies E. D. G. (1977) Differences in laboratory performances between strains of Glossina morsitans morsitans West wood from Rhodesia and Tanzania and associated chromosome diversity. Bull. ent. Res. 67, 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kilama W. L. and Craig G. B. (1969) Monofactorial inheritance of susceptibility to Plasmodium gallinaceum In Aedes aegypti. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 63, 419–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lloyd L., Johnson W. B., Young W. A. and Morrison H. (1924) Second report of the tsetse fly investigation in the Northern Provinces of Nigeria. Bull. ent. Res. 15, 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Macdonald W. W. (1962) The genetic basis of susceptibility to infection with semiperiodic Brugia malayi in Aedes aegypti. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 56, 373–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Maudlin I. (1976) Inheritance of susceptibility to Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Rhodnius prolixus. Nature 262, 214–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maudlin I. (1979) Chromosome polymorphism and sex determination in a wild population of tsetse. Nature 277, 300–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nash T. A. M. and Page W. A. (1953) The ecology of Glossina palpalis in Northern Nigeria. Trans. R. ent. Soc. Lond. 104, 71–169.Google Scholar
  34. Roberts C. J. and Gray A. R. (1972) A comparison of Glossina morsitans sub-morsitans Newst. and G. tachinoides West., collected and maintained under similar conditions, as vectors of Trypanosoma (Namontonas) congolaise, T. (N.) simiae and T. (Duttonella) vivax. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 66, 41–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Scott D. (1970) In The African Trypanosomiases (Ed. by Mulligan H. W.), pp. 614–644. George Allen & Unwin, London.Google Scholar
  36. Southern D. I. and Pell P. E. (1973) Chromosome relationships and meiotic mechanisms of certain morsitans group tsetse flies and their hybrids. Chromosoma (Beri) 44, 319–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Spielburger U., Na’isa B. K. and Abdurrahim U. (1977) Tsetse (Diptera: Glossinidae) eradication by aerial (helicopter) spraying of persistent insecticides in Nigeria. Bull. ent. Res. 67, 589–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vanderplank F. L. (1947) Experiments in the hybridization of tsetse flies (Glossina: Diptera) and the possibility of a new method of control. Trans. R. ent. Soc. Lond. 98, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vanderplank F. L. (1948) Experiments in cross-breeding tsetse flies (Glossina species). Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 42, 131–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Willett K. C. (1963) Some principles of the epidemiology of human trypanosomiasis in Africa. Bull. Wld. Hlth. Org. 28, 645–652.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Maudlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research.KadunaNigeria

Personalised recommendations